Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Hartenberg's Winter lunch menu

We go to Hartenberg several times during the year for their Shiraz and their Riesling Rocks festival and for their summer picnics, but this time we were asked to come and sample their winter menu at their restaurant. We arrived at 11, had a marvellously long and chatty wine tasting and then an excellent lunch and left at nearly 4! We can say unreservedly that you should go and try it out. It's a small menu but has something for everyone. We were lucky and sat outside in the sunshine but, should the weather change, you can move inside to the restaurant/tasting room and sit by the roaring fire
The restaurant/tasting room
with the lovely roaring fire
Attentive staff looking after customers who are having lunch and enjoying tastings
We preferred to sit outside in the glorious, warm (22 degrees) winter sunshine
Caroline Ngalwa looked after us all day and gave us lots of information about the wines we tasted
Our table in the sun, with umbrella
They use good glasses for the tastings and for lunch
Jürgen Welp is the Hospitality Manager. He gave us lots of information about the lunches and the wines
We kept him talking for a long time, when he was not busy
The entrance from the car park
There is lots of outdoor seating
Some very worthwhile winter specials they are running at the moment. We bought a case of the 2008 Chardonnay to drink this winter. It is full of golden fruit with hints of cape gooseberry, citrus butter and hazelnuts on the palate, with good glycerols and intensity. We like the 2012, but it needs some time and is well worth laying down in your cellar, should you have one
And for your desserts, a wonderful Noble Late Harvest
The popular daily special, which they are not allowed to take off the menu as it is the favourite of so many customers

John could not resist the steak, which is very tender and well cooked, with a great herb butter and crisp chips
He ordered a side dish of wilted spinach with garlic and lemon
And of course it came with that glass of Hartenberg 2012 Shiraz, the perfect match, full of tomato cocktail notes with plums and spice and notes of cracked pepper
Lynne chose the Fish and Prawn pie in a crisply crumbed cauliflower purée, a nearly Banting option. A lovely pie, full of good white fish and lots of prawns in the creamy purée, not overly cauliflower flavoured at all, and the texture of the crumbs does add a lot to the dish. It’s a large portion
She ordered the baby marrow fries with garlic skordalia sauce. They were not crisp, but were full of flavour
Her dessert was the small Tarte Tatin with crème fraîche, which you do need to give the kitchen time to prepare as the pastry needs to cook for about 15 to 20 minutes. It has beautiful caramel apple on top
John's choice was the rather gooey baked Vanilla cheesecake with a berry coulis
We finished lunch with double espressos, completely satisfied
The Hartenberg white wines currently available for tasting. We heartily recommend the Riesling, which is fresh crisp and delicious, full of lemon and grapefruit and had not one whiff of terpene. The Eleanor, an elegant Chardonnay, is one of South Africa's top white wines, winning lots of awards. And their crisp Sauvignon Blanc is classic to the variety and not tropical, like so many from the Stellenbosch area, so well made
You can also taste these red wines. All their wines are good, some great and not one will disappoint. The Stork is available to purchase but not to taste. It has been one of our favourite red wines for several years. And then there is the special 2008 Gravel Hill Shiraz. The Mackenzie, a Bordeaux blend, is currently sold out and they await the release of the 2012. Cellarmaster Carl Schultz is very talented, as are wine makers Patrick Ngamane and Oscar Robyn
We were visited by this small wagtail
who wanted some of our crumbs
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2015
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